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Inconsistent Scripture


Burl
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I get how the inconsistencies and contradictions can make it more human, but I'm not sure one can stick with the title of Holy Scripture. To me calling it Holy Scripture implies some external being inspired the contradictions and errors. That doesn't gel with me.

 

I do however appreciate the contradictions and take them for what i think they mean - that other precious humans were seeking and trying to explain what they thought of God and life. They may have been way off the mark, but I give them credit for at least thinking. And sometimes they come up with some gems that I quite like.

Edited by PaulS
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I get how the inconsistencies and contradictions can make it more human, but I'm not sure one can stick with the title of Holy Scripture. To me calling it Holy Scripture implies some external being inspired the contradictions and errors. That doesn't gel with me.

 

I do however appreciate the contradictions and take them for what i think they mean - that other precious humans were seeking and trying to explain what they thought of God and life. They may have been way off the mark, but I give them credit for at least thinking. And sometimes they come up with some gems that I quite like.

Two ways of looking at the issue.

 

In the old school, 'search for the historical Jesus' theme the argument is that it it more likely a biblical passage is reliable if it works against self interest. People do not confabulate inconsistencies if they are pushing an agenda. Liars do not intentionally reveal their own lies. An inconsistency shows the author is reporting accurately and not according to their prejudice.

 

My personal belief is that Scripture is essential for discriminating right from wrong per 2 Timothy 12-17, and that requires a comprehensive inclusion of all scripture (Jesus is the litmus test). All scripture must be interpreted twice: once when it it is written and once when it is received. Inconsistencies flag the need for deeper consideration, not rejection.

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To me, inconsistencies and contradictions, while they indeed "show the need for deeper consideration" reveal to me that one must be careful to examine ones own experience, reason and science in light of what is written (with emphasis on experience). Sometimes that results in acceptance and other times i find it necessary to put aside at least for the time being until it can be tested or unless further light is shown. In my view, i have found this true of the contents of many more books than the Bible which indicates , at least at this time, that either no writing is Holy or many writings are Holy depending how you wish to define that term.

 

Joseph.

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Largely agreed. If you substituted tradition for science that would be a perfectly Wesleyan statement.

 

Unfortunately, science in the modern world has become thoroughly corrupted. The editors of the Lancet and the NEJM agree that science has dissipated into a money chase fueled by egos, cliques and corporatism. Money now buys the scientific imprimature without regard to to reality. "Science" today is ruled by funding, grants and academic incest. Novel hypotheses are siderailed if they might potentially collide with the money train.

 

True science (per Karl Popper, a statistical exploration not of truth but of what is the least false) is unfortunately just a remnant of the the Rationalist's ideal. It has been replaced largely by Scientism, an absurd modern theology where scientists are immune from human weakness.

 

We laugh at the old cigarette advertisements where four out of five doctors agree Chesterfields are best, but scoff if someone suggests herbs might be effective remedies for common ailments.

 

I don't dismiss science, but I will not worship it either. Science grew out of theology, not vice-versa. True science detects the fingerprints of God, but is useless in matters of ethics and morality.

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We have learned to allow other people’s views, especially the negative ones to bring about change in our life when we need to shape our own life as human beings. Our society, religion, science, teachers and parents tell us that life should be a certain way by putting limits on everything we do physically, mentally and spiritually when there are no limits in Eternity. My fellow Christians use the Bible to shut down and bring to an end spiritual consideration when it is a means to open spiritual reflection. The following quote was attributed to Isaac Newton just before he died, “I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.” We Christians read the Bible as a Holy Book, but many instead of taking it in, digesting and contemplating the material spit it at others to show superiority, authority and dominance. Bishop Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, a South African opponent of apartheid said, “When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said "Let us pray." We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.” Instead of using the Bible to take advantage of people and closing their minds, we need to let people and science advance and progress to expand and to deepen the mind in order to go beyond it to a spiritual experience and a desire for more. Science and religion are only tools to use, to experiment with and to broaden our horizons; therefore, we don't need to build a cult around them and worship their every word.

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